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Deputy Sheriff William Robert Hunter | Butte County Sheriff's Office, California Butte County Sheriff's Office, California

Deputy Sheriff

William Robert Hunter

Butte County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch: Thursday, July 26, 2001

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 26

Tour: 3 years

Badge # 81

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 7/26/2001

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: Also killed

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Deputy William Hunter and Lieutenant Estes were shot and killed after responding to a call involving one neighbor threatening another.

As Deputy Hunter responded to the scene, the original reporting party called back and stated that the suspect had stolen a firearm. Deputy Hunter then requested backup and Lieutenant Estes, who was in the area, volunteered and responded to the scene, arriving 19 minutes after Deputy Hunter.

Deputy Hunter entered the cabin where he was ambushed by the suspect as he walked around the corner just inside the front door. The suspect shot him in the head, fatally wounding him. When Lieutenant Estes entered the cabin, he exchanged shots with the suspect at a range of three feet. Lieutenant Estes' weapon was found with one round remaining and had been jammed when it was struck by one of the suspect's rounds. The exchange of gunfire between Lieutenant Estes and the suspect left both men fatally wounded.


When dispatch was unable to reach either officer, additional units were sent by the California Highway Patrol. When they arrived, they located both cruisers parked in front of the small cabin. The sheriff's department's SWAT team was then called out. After firing tear gas, entry was made into the home where the bodies of Deputy Hunter, Lieutenant Estes, and the suspect were located. The suspect was described as a survivalist who was often seen carrying weapons.

Deputy Hunter had been employed with the Butte County Sheriff's Department for three years.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Lieutenant Leonard Bruce Estes
Butte County Sheriff's Office, California
End of Watch: Thursday, July 26, 2001
Cause: Gunfire

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Bill, we were peers when this happened. I had moved on to another agency but it was only a year until this happened to you. I will always honor your name and sacrifice. Know that your experience is shared by many of us to remember your name, never forget your sacrifice and continue the job set forth. I pray to see you again in eternity brother.
- Mark

Sergeant Mark Gonzalez
Capitola Police - Formber Butte County Sheriff Deputy
January 24, 2015

 

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